TIRUCHY: The future of hundreds of college students is at stake, as unconventional degree courses offered by State-run universities and colleges fail to serve the purpose of jobs at the completion of the course. And the confusion over the issuance of equivalent certificates for some courses put the careers of many students and graduates in limbo.
Though the University Grants Commission (UGC) in its public notice cautioned universities to award only those degrees specified by the UGC and notified in the Gazette of India, some universities continue to have unspecified degree courses, leading to litigation, educationalists said.
“In an attempt to draw more students, universities and colleges introduce innumerable hyphenated degrees with specialisation tags like Bio-Physics, Wildlife Biology and Applied Physics BSc and MSc. They assure jobs to the candidates at the completion of these courses but the reality is non-availability of jobs with these specialised degrees. To get government jobs they then seek equivalence certificates for these unconventional or hyphenated degrees,” said K Pandian, vice-president, Association of University Teachers (AUT).
Pandian said the matter had been referred to the concerned Board of Studies (BoS) and the required equivalence certificates issued.
“The problem arose in 2012 when the Department of Higher Education constituted the Equivalence Committee at the State level for recruitment to the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission and Teachers Recruitment Board. Based on the resolutions of the Equivalence Committee, the State government issued 16 government orders that recognise some equivalence certificates while disqualifying others,” he said.
Educationalists said there was a drastic contradiction in the government orders, as it declared Bio-Physics as equivalent to Physics but said Bio-Chemistry is not equivalent to Chemistry.
Pandian said a postgraduate degree in Wildlife Biology, introduced in the late 1980s and certified as equivalent to MSc Zoology by the University of Madras in 1989 and Bharathidasan University in 2009, has now been declared ‘not equivalent’ by the Equivalence Committee, leading to complications for the degree holders.